Southwest Airlines: Business Creativity and Innovation

2000 Words8 Pages
Company Overview

The mission of Southwest Airlines is a dedication to the highest quality of service delivered with warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit (Mission…, 2007). The company also provides opportunities for learning and personal growth to each employee. Creativity and innovation is very important and highly encouraged, for the purposes of improving effectiveness. Employees are to be provided the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that the employees are expected to share with the customer. Southwest Airlines was initially created to be a low-cost alternative to high price of intra-Texas air carriers (Freiberg, 1996). Southwest’s fares were originally supposed to compete with car and bus transportation. It was a little airline, and it would withstand the test of time. As a discount, no-frills airline, it would provide stiff competition for larger airlines. Their strategy was to operate at low cost, offering no food, no movies, no first class, and no reserved seats. They created their own market and provided increased turnaround times at the gate, by avoiding hub-and-spoke airports and opting for short-haul, direct flights. Through this market approach, Southwest has a majority of market share in the markets they serve.

Although many companies are in business to make a profit, Southwest claims that their primary goal is not profit maximization. However, they have been consistently profitable by making air travel affordable to those who previously could not afford it (Freiberg, 1996).Southwest says the customer comes second, showing their devotion to employees. By taking care of their employees, the company encourages employees to take care of the customers. Employees are...

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Employee Benefits Summary, Southwest Airlines (2007). Retrieved online, February 23, 2007, from: http://www.southwest.com/careers/benefits.html.

Freiberg, K., & Freiberg, J. (1996). Nuts! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success. Austin: Bard Press.

Gittell, J. H. (2003). The Southwest Airlines Way: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve High Performance. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Mission of Southwest Airlines (2007). Retrieved online, February 25, 2007, from: http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/mission.html.

Wilson, T. B. (1999). Rewards that drive high performance. Retrieved online February 18, 2007, from: http://www.wilsongroup.com/ecr/case/SouthwestAirlines.pdf.

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